WR Zakhari Franklin: A Serious Upgrade to Any Team’s WR Room

WR Zakhari Franklin, the all-time leading receiver at UTSA, has entered the transfer portal. He sits atop the school record books in catches (262), receiving yards (3348), and receiving touchdowns (37).

WR Zakhari Franklin hauls in a pass.
WR Zakhari Franklin-UTSA (Photo by Jeff Huehn) via goutsa.com. 

Over the last two seasons, Franklin has racked up 2163 receiving yards and scored 27 TDs. The Roadrunners are the back-to-back Conference USA champs.

So where does he go from here?

three possible landing spots for Zakhari Franklin

Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Red Raiders, led by Head Coach Joey McGuire, led the Big 12 in passing offense with 302 yards per game and ranked 12th in the FBS.

The Red Raiders ranked in the Top 30 in the country in total offense at 461 yards per game.

Texas Tech had five receivers with over 30 catches and a combined 16 receiving touchdowns. They were led by freshman Jerand Bradley (51 catches, 744 yards, 6 TDs). He averaged 14 yards per catch.

The Red Raiders won their final four games of the 2022 season and averaged 37 points per game over that stretch.

McGuire coached Franklin in high school at Cedar Hill (TX).

Houston Cougars

The Cougars ranked 8th in the FBS in passing offense with 314 yards per game (2nd in the AAC) as they posted an 8-5 record in 2022 under Head Coach Dana Holgersen.

Houston loses both their 4000+yard quarterback Clayton Tune and his favorite target in All-American WR Tank Dell (109 catches, 1398 yards, 17 TDs). Both heard their names called during this weekend’s NFL Draft.

Former Texas Tech QB Donovan Smith (1505 passing yards, 12 TDs, 8 INTs, 66% comp. pct., 7 rushing TDs) transferred in.

In addition, the Cougars also return WRs Matthew Golden (38 catches, 584 yards, 7 TDs) and Samuel Brown (41 catches, 471 yards, 4 TDs).

Houston begins play in the Big 12 in September.

Texas A&M Aggies

Texas A&M is coming off a dismal 5-7 campaign in 2022 and a mass exodus of talent to the transfer portal. However, they do return their Top 3 receivers:

  • Evan Stewart: 53 catches, 649 yards, 2 TDs.
  • Moose Muhammad III: 38 catches, 610 Yards, 4 TDs.
  • Ainias Smith: 15 catches, 291 yards, 2 TDs.

But none have the production that Franklin has churned out over the last three years.

The Aggies were atrocious in the passing game (84th in the FBS) and in total offense (93rd in the country).

Returning QB Conner Weigman played in 5 games last season and passed for 896 yards and eight touchdowns, and no INTs.

His high game came against Ole Miss: 28 of 44, 338 yards, 4 TDs, and zero INTs in a 31-28 loss.

The Aggies faithful have deep pockets for NIL deals. And they hired former Arkansas and Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino to inject some life into the anemic offense.

The addition of Franklin could add the spark the Aggies need to move the program forward.

Thanks for reading.

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